For the Snohomish County FC Steelheads, it’s been a historic season filled with incredible victories. Their hard work and dedication were rewarded this past weekend as they finished as national runners-up in the US Women’s Arena Open Cup. It is the highest honor a Women’s arena soccer team from Washington State has ever achieved in this competition and marks a fantastic accomplishment for the Snohomish County Football Club.
US Women’s Arena Training Camp
Thursday marked the beginning of an exciting journey for four talented Steelheads, Anna Roslander, Mariah Roggow, Peyton Chick, and M’ily Reiter. After winning the NWPLI, these Ladies received a formal invitation to join the US Women’s Arena National Team Training Camp before the tournament would kick off the next day.
The training regimen was intense, starting with a grueling two-hour session on defense, followed by two hours of offensive drills, and finally culminating in full-field game sessions to cap off the day’s training. Given the caliber of the players present, including veterans from the NWSL, WPSL, and other talented members of the Arena National Team, it was no surprise that the four Steelheads were eager to learn and improve their skills. After a long day of training, the girls were understandably exhausted, but knowing they had learned from some of the best players in the world made it all worth it. In a conversation President Dorian Lair had with USA head coaching staff, many coaches were impressed with the Steelheads ladies and were hopeful about the future.
US Women’s Open Cup Tournament
The next day would see lots of action on the first, as the tournament would kick off. The Steelheads’ first national appearance in the US Women’s Arena Open Cup did not disappoint. One team, in particular, stood out from the rest – the Steelheads. After a fantastic run in the 2023 Northwest Premier League (Indoor) season, they were ready to show the country what the Pacific Northwest had to offer.
Their first game in the Open Cup was against the highly-regarded Chihuahua Savage, where the Lady Steelheads managed to come back and tie the game 1-1 with an incredible goal from Chalise Baysa.
For game two, despite going down 0-1 at halftime early in the game, they also managed to battle back and earned another draw against Detroit Waza FC with a goal from Stephanie Spiekerman.
For both of these games, The Steelheads would maintain the majority of possession and would see more chances on goal. These results would give them the 3rd seed in group play, and a birth into the national quarter-final where they would face hometown team Louisville Mockingbirds for a birth into the national semi-final.
The quarter-final would see quite a bit more action with Louisville scoring first. But goals from Peyton Chick and Liv Larson would push the Steelheads to the end of the game, granting them a birth to the National Semi-Final, where they would face once again, Chihuahua Savage.
The Steelheads were optimistic going into the Semi-Final given that they dominated possession and had the majority of opportunities vs Chihuahua in game one. They proved just that. The lady Fish would score first with a goal from Kiara Williams (Kiana Jacobson Assist), followed by a second from Peyton Chick, her second of the tournament. Chihuahua would add a goal before the half to bring the score to 2-1 going into halftime. The second half started and the Steelheads would add another goal from Kellyn Green, making the score 3-1 going into the 4th quarter. About midway through the 4th, the Savage would add their second goal with about 4 minutes left in the game. Nevertheless, the Steelheads were able to out possess the Savage, ending the game with the Steelheads moving on to the National Championship Match.
The Championship match would be no easy task. The Cincinnati Sirens are quite that club, holding 3 PASL championships, and several NWSL, WPSL, and Arena National Team Pro players. They have a core group of players who know the game quite well. Nevertheless, the Steelheads would give them their hardest match of the year, many of the Sirens would quote. The first quarter would go scoreless at 0-0 in an extremely physical match. The rest of the game would be no different. Cincinnati would get their first goal in the second quarter, adding a second just before the half. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter, The Sirens would add their 3rd of the game on a power-play goal, bringing the game to 0-3 at the start of the 4th. The goals were no easy task for the Sirens, seeing one of their lowest-scoring games in the last year. The Steelheads would not go out quietly. They would press for the entire rest of the game, ultimately snagging a goal late in the 4th from Kiah Dayton. At the last minute, Cincinnati would hold on to possession to see out the game at 1-3.
You could tell the Steelhead players and staff were proud. At the whistle, not one fish was seen in a bad mood, you could only see smiles, hugs, and handshakes from Snohomish County. Even the Tacoma Stars Reserves all stuck around to give the ladies a standing ovation for their performance. This was a success to be reckoned with, bringing home hardware and bragging rights as National Runners-up.
The Snohomish County Football Club would like to thank all those who donated in support of the Steelheads ladies. We had nearly 70 different donors totaling $10,000+ in support. We would like to thank SJ Tedding plumbing for their sponsorship, Jamie Bialek and the Snohomish Sports Dome for their sponsorship and continued partnership over the last 3 years, The Soccer Post, and all the coaches, staff, players, and volunteers who supported the team before, during, and after the season, giving their time, blood, sweat, and tears all season. We could not do this without the community. #gofish #forthecommunity
Steelheads US Arena Open Cup Roster
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